According to the National Housing Institute (NHI), the rising cost of energy is a major factor in housing abandonment, homelessness and even fire deaths due to the utilization of space heaters and other risky, but inexpensive, methods for heating the home.
Furthermore, the NHI cites that part of the problem is that conservation, economic equality and social justice are typically treated as independent, disconnected issues, whereas the solution is to realize that all three are interdependent goals whose policies should be integrated for the benefit of all.
Poorly built low-income housing is a major offender when it comes to polluting the environment with large amounts of carbon emissions and making it difficult for those without means to stay in their homes and still eat three meals a day. These housing communities are usually poorly ventilated, inadequately insulated, equipped with the cheapest and least-efficient heating and cooling systems, and constructed without a thought to sustainable energy efficiency.
When it comes to social housing, reducing energy costs to make housing more affordable, protect the environment and keep families in their homes is a win-win situation all around, but unfortunately, developers generally don't have the expertise or the financial backing to create green housing communities that can help reach these goals. Star Energy has the expertise to consult with developers and builders to ensure that new buildings are constructed with an eye to energy efficiency while working within a given budget. We also conduct comprehensive energy audits on older buildings and develop realistic, affordable solutions for retrofitting them with new technologies and making simple improvements to vastly increase efficiency, lower utility bills and reduce carbon emissions while also removing some of the public housing burden on taxpayers and already-stretched housing budgets.
We focus on solutions that are sustainable for the long-term, such as implementing alternative energy sources and providing practical tools for the ongoing monitoring and evaluation of energy consumption.
Training for property management staff and educational materials for tenants can help raise awareness and enhance the sense of community, while simple, no-cost and low-cost solutions for conservation, such as installing programmable thermostats in apartments and utilizing ceiling fans year round for comfort, can make a big difference in the bottom line for both tenants and the organizations that provide them with low-cost housing.